AUDUBON, John James (1785-1851) Vol. I, Plate 7, Carolina Gray Squirrel

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Painted by John James Audubon (1785-1851) with background likely by Victor Gifford Audubon (1809-1860)
Lithographed by J. T. Bowen &. Co.
Lithograph with hand color, paper dimensions: approximately 22 x 28 inches
From Vol. I, Part 2 of John James Audubon and John Bachman’s (1790-1875) The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America.
New York: V.G. Audubon, 1845-1848.

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The following passage is included in the accompanying description of Sciurus Carolinensis. Gmelin. Carolina Grey Squirrel:

“This species differs as much in its habits from the Northern Gray Squirrel as it does in form and colour. From an intimate acquaintance with the habits of the latter, we are particularly impressed with the peculiarities of the present species. Its bark has not the depth of tone of that of the Northern species, and is more shrill and querulous. Instead of mounting high on the tree when alarmed, which the latter always does, the Sc. Carolinensis generally plays round the trunk, and on the side opposite to the observer, at a height of some twenty or thirty feet, often concealing itself beneath the Spanish moss (Tillandsia Usneoides) which hangs about the tree. When a person who has alarmed one of these Squirrels remains quiet for a few moments, it descends a few feet and seats itself on the first convenient branch, in order the better to observe his movements.

It is, however, capable of climbing to the extremity of the branches and leaping from tree to tree with great agility, but is less wild than the Northern species, and is almost as easily approached as the chickaree, (Sc. Hudsonius.) One who is desirous of obtaining a specimen, has only to take a seat for half an hour in any of the swamps of Carolina and he will be surprised at the immense number of these squirrels that may be seen running along the logs or leaping among the surrounding trees. A great many are killed, and their flesh is both juicy and tender.”